Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Birth (infancy) (08/20/09)
TITLE: Right on Time
By Karen Gross
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For me, there was an extra measure of fullness. I was great with child. We were awaiting the birth of our second child, scheduled to arrive in about a week.
Babies in my family are punctual. I was born on my mother’s due date, and my first daughter was born on my due date. At least, we were punctual for our arrival times into this world. We have been late for almost everything since then.
Back to the Banquet scene. Sometime between the mashed potatoes and the pumpkin pie, I started feeling a bit unsettled. I was sitting with my friend Leona and her daughter Sheila, who had been a student of mine. Leona noticed my squirming and asked if I was okay. I told her “I’m fine. I probably just ate too much.”
As the evening progressed, my unsettled feelings began to assert themselves. Leona asked again, “Are you sure you are alright?” “I’m fine. I think it’s Braxton Hicks contractions. The baby is due next Monday.”
I don’t know if Leona believed me, but I managed to convince myself that I was just fine. I didn’t even tell my husband about it that evening. The Banquet had run late, and he needed to get up at three in the morning. He was working for a trucking company, and deliveries were usually scheduled for the wee hours when normal people are still snug in their beds.
I couldn’t get to sleep, so I got up and turned on the TV. By about midnight, the Braxton Hicks contractions were coming every twenty minutes. I was still awake when my husband left for work, and I’m not sure why, but I didn’t tell him about my unsettled feelings. I guess I didn’t want him to worry. I still hadn’t admitted to myself that these were labour pains. After all, we still had another week before the baby came.
By about five in the morning, I had to tell myself the truth. This baby was not coming on time. She was fixing to be early. I called my husband (Thank God for cell phones!) but by then he was two hours away, making his deliveries. He went ahead and made his deliveries, remembering how long the labour lasted for the first one. Plus this baby wasn’t due for another week.
By six in the morning, I realized that I had to get to the hospital. I called some friends to take my daughter and give me a ride to the hospital. I finished my delivery before my husband finished his that day.
I delivered a beautiful baby girl, a week early.
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